Stating that the government has failed to address the issues confronting the fruit growers of the State, Convenor Fresh & Dry Fruit Growers Forum Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Malik has said that in absence of a comprehensive horticulture policy the farming community is unable to produce quality fruit compatible in the world market.
In a statement issued here today, Malik said that government has failed even to initiate any pragmatic measures, which could save and advance the State Horticulture and contribute to the welfare of the people involved in this sector directly and indirectly.
Stressing on regulation of prices Malik said that exorbitant prices of pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers, packing material and transport have put the growers at the receiving end on the one hand and on the other encouraged the unjust profiteering, hoarding and supplying of sub standard products. In the event of natural calamities like snow, wind storm, hailstorm, torrential rains and premature leaf drop the marginal far famers suffer huge losses, he added.
Demanding introduction of high yield, disease (Scab) resistant fruit varieties together with inclusion of stone and quality dry fruit particularly walnuts the convener of the forum urged upon the government to regulate the prices and curb the spurious pesticides, fertilizers, packing material, transport.
He also demanded implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) and waiving off 50 per cent of KCC loans provided to the farmers as announced by the coalition government.
An open letter addressed to Chief Minister of the State, highlighting the demands of the forum is attached herewith this statement for favour of publication.